Thursday, May 9, 2013

Building a Log Chicken Coop: a story in pictures

It was Ben who had the genius idea of building a log chicken coop. I admit, I was a little skeptical, but only because I had never seen any chicken coops like it before. 

We got a free (for the price of Ben's time and energy clearing the trees out of his Grandpa's property) load of pine logs to use for the coop.

On a warm Saturday in March, we hosted a barn raising. I contributed the world's best pork roast feast and a case of beer to the event as payment for our friends' time and efforts.

With one day of work done, the barn was about halfway built, and the door was framed in.

Ava sat and assisted with picking bark off of the logs.

Another day and more friends' help later, all the logs were in place and the barn just needed a roof.

The long chainsaw cut down each side to even the logs out for the roof beams was one of the most tedious parts, and made me the most nervous.

After the roof was installed, Ben framed out half of the barn and added a door, two windows, nesting boxes, roosts, and a nice floor to keep the chickens up out of the mud. We had such a wet spring that the ground in front of and inside the door was just churned into a mud pit, so we had to add some pallets and boards to walk on.

I think the finished coop looks so fantastic. I am so proud of all of Ben's hard work that he put into it!

Inside the chickens' pen we added two log roosts, though they are being stubborn about using them right now. You can see a rope stretched across the ceiling: that is Ben's genius pulley system for the trap door that leads to their run. All I have to do to let them out is pull the handle on the outside of the coop and hook it onto its support to leave the door open for the day.

Some of the chickens use the roosts. Others have started preferring the nesting boxes! Oops.

I can't wait until these nesting boxes are full of eggs each morning!

The run for the chickens is 20'x20' to allow as much room as possible. We can't really free range them too much. If we let them run inside our picket fence then we have issues with our dogs, and if we let them run outside our picket fence we risk issues with our neighbors.

They are very happy in their log home though. They love watching me garden and they get so excited when I bring them table scraps.

This is the lovely view when you walk toward the back of our property. Our big raised bed garden is being planted this week, our chickens are happy in their run, and I can't wait to start harvesting fresh veggies, fruits, and eggs!


  1. Take them out of the nests each night and put them on the roost
    they don't like large logs to roost on-can't get a good grip-2"diameter is best

  2. Also, make sure your roosts are HIGHER than the nesting boxes. Awesome job, big kudos to your husband! Love your raised beds!